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Edge of Wilderness

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 47 miles / 75.6 km
  • Ride Time: 1-2 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $3.57
  • State: Minnesota
Submitted by:
OpenRoadRider pro

Edge of Wilderness

Celebrate northern hospitality, hometown pride, and the treasures of our natural heritage. Minnesota, midway between America's East and West Coast, is the home to 12,000 lakes. It is filled with beautiful country and all the pleasures of the four seasons. The Edge of the Wilderness is the rustic slice of this great state, with more than 1,000 lakes and one mighty river, the Mississippi, nearby, all in landscapes of remarkable natural beauty. There are still more trees than people here -- offering a classic northwoods seclusion.

The Edge begins in Grand Rapids with meadows and lakes, then winds through mixed hardwoods and stands of conifers and aspens in the Chippewa National Forest. Rounding bends and cresting hills, you will find breathtaking views that, during the fall, are ablaze with the brilliant red of sugar maples, the glowing gold of aspen and birch, and the deep bronze of oak.

The Edge offers some of Minnesota's most popular sporting and resorting opportunities. Take a fresh look! Whether you are a newcomer, a long-time resort visitor, or a local resident, The Edge of the Wilderness offers a unique environment of clear lakes, vast shorelines, and hills blanketed in hardwood forests and northern pines. Recreation seekers will find hiking, camping, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling within the Byway corridor. You will find that here, you are really living on the Edge.

Special Considerations
Highway 38 courses up and down and curves often -- that's part of its charm. Locals named it 'Highway Loop-de-Loop' in the early days. As you drive the 47-mile byway, be aware of the lower speed limits, other traffic on the highway, and weather conditions. This is a working roadway with trucks carrying logs and other local products. A self-guided Forest History Auto Tour is available. For more information, check with the Marcell Ranger Station.

The Byway is open year-round. For information on construction along the Byway, check at local offices.

Best Time to Drive
Fall foliage season (end of September, beginning of October)

High Season
July and August

Information was obtained by permission from

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Minnesota. This motorcycle route has 9 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by OpenRoadRider in March. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by OpenRoadRider

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 5 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 6 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 7 for Edge of Wilderness
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 8 for Edge of Wilderness

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesUrban/ResidentialParksFall ColorsLakesForestRuralRiverFarm Land

Best Time to Go


Road Characteristics:

Straight RoadSweeping Curves RoadRolling HillsLight TrafficAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

48overland says:

I ride this route or portins of it whenever I can. A nice day will find me taking this 100+ mile longer way home from work. Watch the curves, not mountain-like but some are off camber and the logging trucks can take theirs and some of yours.
Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

nosaj says:

This may be the most beautiful road in Minnesota. I rode this road in my dad's pickup for my entire childhood. I had my first chance to ride it on my HD Heritage Classic over Labor Day weekend this year (2009). It was great. Of the 47 miles, about 20 hilly and twisty. There is a different lake on every turn. It's great riding. Just take it easy. Some of the corners have a reducing radius. You can end up in the ditch or the opposite lane very easy. Enjoy, but ride safe.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

pfink says:

Once upon la time I lived on Hwy 38. I went back last year and took this ride. It’s still a great road. You can take MN 1 from the North shore over to connect then come down Hwy 38 to Grand Rapids.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

radster says:

This is an outstandingly curvey ride in the northern portion. Lots of hills and tight curves as some of it follows glacial eskers. A highlight is the rest stop at the Laurentian Divide (seperates water flowing to Great Lakes from the Mississippi River). In 2009 there is about 13 miles of asphalt that is in pretty rough shape, but it is still worth the ride.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM


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